As customers across New England hunker down for what is forecasted to be an extremely windy night, National Grid crews and support personnel are prepping in the event strong winds cause damage to the region’s electrical network.
High wind watches and warnings have been issued for overnight across the region, with predictions of strong and possibly damaging winds in many areas, combined with potentially heavy rain. As a result, National Grid crews and support staff have been put on alert and are prepared to respond in the event of service interruptions.
“Our first priority is always the safety of the public, our customers, and our employees,” said Kathy Lyford, National Grid vice president of electric operations in New England. “We have been tracking this front, and preparedness plans are in place to make sure our crews are ready to respond as quickly and safely as possible.”
National Grid officials said they are working with communities and municipal officials throughout the region to keep them updated on preparations and provide contact and safety information that can be passed along to constituents in the event of severe damage from the winds.
National Grid advised Rhode Islanders — including those on the East Bay — to be prepared as strong, sustained winds can cause local electrical service interruptions. It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay in touch, as National Grid provides news media with timely information regarding service restoration efforts.
Also, post National Grid recommends keeping its emergency outage number — 1-800-465-1212 — handy if needed. National Grid provides real-time outage information, including the option to report an outage at www.nationalgridus.com.
National Grid offers the following tips for customers to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety in the event that storm-related power interruptions do occur.
Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
- If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize crew safety.
- If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
- Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.
- People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
- National Grid customers who experience outages should call National Grid’s outage line at 1-800-465-1212 immediately to expedite restoration.
- Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.